Doctor Who – Prisoners of Time parts 1-8

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Cover gallery by Francesco Francavilla

Starting in January of 2013, IDW has been publishing a 12 part story that tells an interlinking adventure throughout all of the Doctor’s incarnations to date. The entire series is penned by Scott and David Tipton and is an incredible feat as each installment is drawn by a different artist. Along with several variant covers, the artist Francesco Francavilla has crafted an interconnected poster image of each Doctor and a portion of the TARDIS along with a monster or villain in the background.

Has there ever been a more ambitious celebration of Doctor Who? I doubt it.

Each part is exciting in its own way, be it an adventure with the Zarbi in the London underground of 1868 or an aquatic invasion of mind-controlling aliens from which even U.N.I.T. is not immune. It is thrilling to see stalwart artists such as John Ridgway, Roger Lanridge and Lee Sullivan return but I am also happy to see Philip Bond and Gary Erskine in the fold (though I found the Fourth Doctor installment rather light and awkward). New monsters and old appear such as the Ice Warriors, the Judoon and even the Master, but each time there is a mysterious being watching from the wings, measuring the Doctor’s responses and waiting for the proper time to strike, abducting the traveling companions from time, keeping them like specimens in some interplanetary collection.

I had my reservations about this series since I have mixed feelings about a modern take on classic Doctor Who in comic book form, but this has been a delight. The stand out moments have been seeing the First Doctor fight the Zarbi, the Sixth Doctor placed in solitary confinement as a madman and the Fifth Doctor stuck between the Rutans and the Sontarans in a pointless unwinnable skirmish. In the latest issue, the Eigth Doctor pops in on one time companion Doctor Grace Holloway (from the TV Movie) with the promise of adventure. A montage of madcap jaunts follows ending in a longer adventure in which the Doctor must make a difficult decision that effects the lives of an entire alien civilization.

I am coming to this series late but it was so addicting that I read the entire run in almost one sitting. I was also pleased that each issue ended with an afterward by an expert on that particular period of the Doctor Who comic strip of each era. It’s like a little DVD extra thrown in for the devoted fan!

The series is about to enter its final quartet of adventures with the Ninth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors all entering the fray. It is unknown if the Twelfth Doctor will make an appearance, but it is unlikely seeing as how his first season will not begin until the autumn of 2014.

Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time Volume 1

Doctor Who: Prisoners of Time Volume 2

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